Creating the Perfect Burger

Creating the Perfect Burger

By Susan Neuhalfen

Chef Aubrey Daniels of the Wildhorse Grill is determined to put Robson Ranch on the map.

That’s because the Wildhorse Grill is among a handful of restaurants across the United States competing for a chance to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.

The Blended Burger Project is a challenge to chefs across the country to make the best burger possible while including one or more types of mushrooms. Chef Daniels has taken this challenge and created his own blended burger masterpiece right here at the Wildhorse Grill.

“I experimented a few times to get it just right,” said Chef Daniels who has been cooking since he was 11 years old. “I had an idea in mind and it just came together as the Texas Forest Burger.”

Wildhorse Grill’s Texas Forest burger is 50% lamb, 25% portabella mushroom/cremini mushroom and 25% ground beef grilled to perfection and topped with gruyere cheese, sweet pickled red onion slaw and arugula spinach pesto on a toasted brioche bun.

According to Chef Daniels, the taste of the lamb really pops, giving it a sweet and bitter balance. Make no mistake, this is a gourmet burger.

“It’s hard to describe,” said Daniels of his creation. “You just have to taste it.”

It’s already on the Wildhorse Grill menu so trying it for yourself it is an option for lunch or dinner. The most important thing right now however, is for the citizens of North Texas to get together and VOTE.

The Texas Forest Burger may be voted into the top five by online voting at www.jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject/vote. The top five chefs will then fly to New York City next January to compete in the final showdown of the challenge.

Everyone should take the time out to vote and represent our North Texas community in New York City. Need more encouragement? Customers who vote for their favorite blended burger online will also be entered to win trip for two to the 2018 Blended Burger event at the James Beard House.

The point of the Blended Burger Project is to challenge chefs around the country to make burgers better by blending ground meat with chopped mushrooms, creating a delicious patty that’s healthier for the patron and more sustainable for the planet.

“That’s what drew me into the contest,” said Chef Daniels. “Creating a sustainable burger with fresh cultivated mushrooms was an exciting challenge for me.”

Chef Daniels loves a challenge. He also loves finding new and different ways to mix and mesh foods that are popular in this community. He changes up the dinner menu at Wildhorse Grill daily.

“My dad is the one that got me interested in fusion cooking,” said Chef Daniels. “I love to get creative.”

Daniels is a 4th generation chef. His great-grandfather and grandfather were chefs in a more traditional fashion, while his father introduced him to more fusion cooking. He started cooking five-cheese mac and cheese at the tender age of eleven and continued his education studying under master chefs in restaurants all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area. His father is a member of the World Master Chef’s Society Dallas, an exclusive international honors association for chefs, by invitation only.

The James Beard Foundation produces programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students and much more. Its namesake, James Beard, was a cookbook author, teacher, and the first cooking show television personality. Beard’s mission was to make America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs including Wolfgang Puck.

The Wildhorse Grill is located at Robson Ranch, just off I-35W. It’s rustic atmosphere and gorgeous views make it the perfect backdrop for a date, family dinner, Sunday brunch, or lunch for business or pleasure. Voting has already begun and goes through July 31, 2017. Vote daily here.


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